Marketing return on investment (ROI) -- what is it? How do we measure it? How do we achieve it and why is it so elusive for some? Here are some of the top reasons marketing your small business doesn't always produce the results you're hoping to achieve:
It isn't Integrated
There are no successful standalone strategies that result in guaranteed long term ROI. To maximize your marketing efforts, make sure everyone on your team is communicating and working effectively together. If your employees aren't all on the same page, you won't be able to fully make lemonade from the proverbial lemon. Your blog posts, pieces of news and events should all be leveraged and shared across multiple platforms. Anything less than an integrated approach to marketing today is a guaranteed way to assure poor ROI.
It isn't Consistent in its Execution
There aren't shortcuts that help you achieve a sustainable marketing return on investment. Consistency isn't exciting, but it is what delivers results. An occasional email blast, a blog that no one is accountable for (so it sits idle) and a Facebook page that an intern began and no one has touched since he left are issues seen all too often.
Sometimes clients will follow a company for years before they engage with it. However, companies who send out a helpful email or update their blog weekly with no exceptions will see the payoff for their stability. Regardless of what you're selling, consistency is the driver of results.
When your marketing efforts are like a kid in a candy store -- you are going in every direction at once -- you may need to work on improving your patience. Patience is a crucial ingredient for ROI. The world of technology can help you succeed, but instead of joining every platform, make sure you know what will best reach your target audience. If your product appeals to baby boomers, Tumblr may not be the best social media platform to utilize. There are many ways technology makes small businesses big. After all, technology is a fascinating and intriguing world -- but you need to take the time to research which tools will help you push ahead and which may hinder or halt your overall marketing efforts.
Is it Your Product or Service?
This reason is a tough one to swallow, but if all of your marketing efforts show no improvement in ROI, you may have some other questions at hand. What makes you different from your competitors? Is your product really something people need? Is the marketplace ready to consume it or is the demand too small to allow you great success? Businesses have more competition than ever, so it may be time to review what you offer. The media age of precision requires business excellence to survive.
Your marketing efforts should help you get ahead, and when done with consistency, they will. Remember marketing ROI doesn't happen if a sale isn't made. Communication, consistency and patience are the foundation of a successful marketing strategy, and can ultimately lead to greater ROI.
What marketing efforts have increased your ROI?
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Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.